There are lots of private teachers.  Why are you different?

I’m a working musician with a degree in music performance and 10+ years of experience teaching students. I make sure my students have a firm foundation of technique and theory, and I make learning it fun. Every one of my students is taught the tools they need to create the music they want, and I make sure that a student can see progress after the very first lesson.


What can I expect at the first lesson?

Voice: We’ll start by discussing your interests, prior experience, and goals. I’ll give you some basic techniques to begin working on and we’ll choose a song for you to practice at home.

Piano: First lessons vary a bit more with piano based on age and prior experience. With beginning students, we cover a few of the basics- sitting at the piano, basic rhythm notation, finger numbers. Not matter what age, every student walks out of the first lesson able to play a song! For students with prior experience, we spend the first lesson reviewing what you already know, looking through books and songs you’ve played before to get an idea of where to start. Then we establish goals and get started!


Can’t I just teach myself piano at home with a book?

There are so many things about piano technique that you can’t learn from a book. And so many ways to develop bad habits that can keep you from getting as far as you’d like. Honestly, piano technique is complex and it’s almost impossible to get it right just by looking at pictures. It’s necessary to have the feedback from a trained teacher.


How much progress will I make?

The progress you make is very dependent on how much time you invest outside of your lesson time. But you’ll see progress in your very first lesson! Adults who practice every day can reasonably expect to be playing fairly sophisticated pieces with both hands in 6 months. Children who practice regularly can get to that point in 1-3 years.


How much will I have to practice?

I encourage all my students to practice every day, at least a little bit. You’re working on muscle memory as well as cognitive skills, so consistent practice is important. I recommend 10-15 minutes a day for young beginners, and 20-30 minutes for adults and older children. But you’re allowed to do more!


Is it too late for me to start?

Absolutely not! No matter how old you are, learning how to play the piano or sing is always rewarding. Numerous studies link learning music to improved cognitive function and concentration. Plus, it’s fun!


At what age should my child start lessons?

I usually say 5 is the earliest a child should start private piano lessons. But I’m willing to be flexible on that. Your child is ready when they know their ABCs and have a good attention span. With young kids, I do a lot of games and hands-on activities so your child learns all the basics of piano and that music is fun!


How much does it cost?

$30 per half-hour weekly lesson, $60 per hour.


What kind of music will we work on?

Whatever you want! We’ll pick songs together based on your interests, abilities, and goals.


I’m auditioning for a musical next week. Can you help me?

I’d love to. There are several tricks that can improve a performance immediately. We’ll polish up your audition piece and talk about techniques for handling stress.


What kind of piano or keyboard do I need to get started?

Obviously a real piano is best, but since buying a piano is such a big investment, you could start off with a keyboard before making the leap to the real thing. Here are things to look for: a full keyboard with 88 keys, weighted keys that respond similarly to a real piano, capability to plug in a damper pedal.


I don’t have much time to practice. Are lessons still worth it?

Obviously it’s tough to make progress if you’re not going to spend ANY time practicing at home. But even a short amount, 5-10 minutes a day can make it worthwhile. If you have that much time, I’d say give it a try and see what happens. Of course I’m biased, but I think any amount of music is better than none!


What if my kids don’t want to practice?

This is something almost all parents struggle with. Learning to read music can be tough and frustrating at times. But it’s worth the effort! I’m beginning a series of blog posts with tips for encouraging practice and making it more productive. The first is called 5 Tips For Motivating Your Child to Practice.